Abstract
“ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS OF MERCURY FROM DENTISTRY AND PRACTICAL GUIDELINES TO MINIMIZE THEM”

Mrinal Shete*, Anagha Shete, Mahesh Chavan, Nikhil Diwan, Pallavi Channe, Rashmi Sapkal

ABSTRACT

Exposure to mercury is a potential hazard for anyone in the dental profession who handles mercury or mercury containing compounds. Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, dental workers including the dentists, the dental hygienists and the dental assistants are at a particular risk of mercury hazards. Mercury exposure can seriously affect the health of both the patients and the dental professionals. Early exposure to low doses of mercury during pregnancy and through breastfeeding increases the risk of decrease in the intelligent quotient (IQ) amongst children. According to the WHO in 2005, mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur. Mercury vapours also alter the local environment posing grievous effects for the general population. This article throws light upon multiple health hazards of mercury associated with the dental treatment modalities and a few measures to prevent them. This will help to greatly reduce the human and environmental morbidity related to the mercury exposure.

Keywords: Mercury toxicity, Acrodynia, Dentistry related hazards, Dental amalgam.


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